- Marina Tsuji
Top 5 Most Photogenic Train Stations in Japan – From Tokyo Station to Kamakurakoko-Mae Station
Japan has many unique railway stations, from Important Cultural Properties to oceanside stations, and even secluded gems where trains rarely stop. Here are our picks for the five most photogenic stations in Japan!
1. Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building (Tokyo)
Built in Chiyoda in 1914, Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building is sometimes called "Tokyo's front door". As a main terminal that connects Tokyo with the other areas of the country, this station has contributed much to the economic development of the capital, and has been designated a Important Cultural Property. In 2012, the building's north and south domes were restored after being destroyed by air raids and fire during World War II. Many important parts of the building including its facade were used in restoring the building to its original red brick construction.
Opening its doors a year after the station itself, The Tokyo Station Hotel has been loved by celebrities and travelers alike throughout the years. You will find it as soon as you pass through the ticket barriers and step out of the Marunouchi Building.
2. JR Mojiko Station (Fukuoka)
JR Mojiko Station is located in the 120-year-old Mojiko Port in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture. This building is famous for being the first railway station designated as Important Cultural Property in Japan. In 2019, the tasteful building that first opened in 1914 finally re-opened its doors after a six-year restoration. This Renaissance-style two-story wooden building is characterized by its symmetrical structure. The building itself is very photogenic, but its long and straight benchless platform is also a popular photo spot. You can get to Mojiko Station in around 40 minutes by bullet train from Hakata Station in the center of Fukuoka Prefecture.
3. Kamakurakoko-Mae Station (Kanagawa)
Located in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Kamakurakoko-mae Station is known for its superb ocean view. The blue shining sea spreads out front of the station, and the view from the platform is even more splendid! This spot is so popular that some people even get off at this station just to take pictures. Another secret to station's fame is the different atmosphere it takes on from day and night. The beauty of this scenery lead Kamakurakoko-mae Station to be selected as one of the 100 Top Stations in the Kanto Region. You can take the Enoshima Electric Railway from JR Kamakura Station to reach Kamakurakoko-mae Station in around 18 minutes.
4. Kareigawa Station (Kagoshima)
Kareigawa Station is a wooden station built more than 100 years ago in Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture. The building hasn't changed since it first opened in 1903, and is now registered as a Tangible Cultural Property. Although the station is unstaffed, it's still served by the limited express train, and it remains popular with the many tourists who come from all over the country to see its beautiful wooden building. The inside of the station feels so filled with history, it's like you just traveled back in time. On weekends and public holidays, you can buy an ekiben (lunch box sold at stations) here. Named the "Hundred-Year Travel Story: Kareigawa", these bento boxes are so popular they've been crowned Best Ekiben in Kyushu three years in a row! You can get to this station in about an hour and half by train from JR Kagoshima Station.
5. Todoroki Station (JR Gono Line) (Aomori)
This station stands peacefully upon the seashore of Nishitsugaru, Aomori Prefecture. The simple wooden building looks like a small box surrounded by the vastness of the sea and the sky. Only five trains per day stop at this secluded station. Surrounded by natural scenery, this is a great photo spot that takes on a different look from season to season, hour to hour.
At sunset, you can watch the sun sink over the Sea of Japan. Check out the Todoroki Station sunset calendar on the north side of the platform to see what direction the sun will set. You can get to Todoroki Station in 2 hours 40 minutes from JR Aomori Station, but plan carefully, because only a few trains a day stop at this tiny station!
From stylish station buildings designated as Important Cultural Properties to wooden station buildings filled with history, Japan is full of beautiful train stations. Some of them might be a little far from your standard sightseeing route, but train travel is perfect for a relaxing detour to the countryside!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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